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San Andreas

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • San Andreas' UHD upgrade underwhelms visually but wows with stellar audio.

    San Andreas 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • San Andreas' 4K UHD release disappoints with minimal improvements and often flatter visuals than its 1080p version, lacking in color depth and detail enhancements.

  • Audio
  • San Andreas' Dolby Atmos mix plunges you into an intense, immersive sonic journey, deftly balancing chaos with clear, dynamic sound that tests and showcases the capabilities of home theater setups.

  • Extra
  • San Andreas' 4K UHD disc lacks extras, but the included 1080p Blu-ray is packed with featurettes, deleted scenes, gag and stunt reels, offering a complete set of bonuses along with a digital HD copy.

  • Movie
  • In a thrill ride of destruction, 'San Andreas' pairs action with survival as The Rock battles earthquakes across California, in a visually stunning epic enhanced by the debut of Warner Brothers' UHD Blu-ray technology.

    Video: 77

    The video quality of "San Andreas" on 4K UHD Blu-ray, while boasting potential for a significant upgrade over its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart, unfortunately, yields mixed results. Derived from a 2K digital intermediate (DI) after having been shot at 3.4K, expectations for an evident boost in detail and texture were high. However, the 4K UHD presentation reveals the limitations of such upscaling. Close-ups show some improvement in texture and depth, capturing finer details in skin lines, individual hairs, and the intricacies of surfaces with a bit more clarity than the Blu-ray version. These moments, though, are exceptions rather than the norm.

    Color reproduction on the 4K UHD disc is consistent with the Blu-ray, albeit with slight enhancements in the vibrancy and delineation of greens and blues. Contrast adjustments lead to a UHD image that is darker than its Blu-ray counterpart, affecting the perceived depth and punch of colors, resulting in a flatter image overall. The shadow detail stands out as one of the few areas where the UHD version shows a clear advantage, offering improved visibility in darker scenes without elevating black levels. However, this improvement in dark scene detail does not compensate for the overall lack of vivid color and dynamic contrast that viewers might expect from a 4K presentation.

    Despite being among the early releases in the UHD Blu-ray format, "San Andreas" does not showcase the medium's potential for dramatic improvements in video quality. With subtle at best enhancements in certain close-up shots and a shift toward darker, less punchy visuals, the 4K UHD version struggles to differentiate itself significantly from the already available 1080p Blu-ray. The details such as skin textures, environmental textures, and CGI elements do not consistently display a noticeable upgrade in quality, leaving much to be desired from this high-resolution release. Transitioning between different scene settings—whether sun-drenched interiors or ravaged urban landscapes—the expected clarity and vibrancy simply do not materialize as hoped, underscoring the challenges of effectively upscaling source material finished at 2K for the burgeoning 4K UHD market.

    Audio: 89

    San Andreas on 4K UHD Blu-ray offers an unparalleled audio experience that fully leverages the capabilities of the Dolby Atmos format, appointing it as an essential showcase for home theater enthusiasts seeking to test the limits of their setups. The Atmos mix, being a front-runner among its peers, crafts an immersive aural landscape where every sound, from the visceral rumblings of tumbling vehicles to the cacophony of collapsing buildings, envelops the listener from all directions, including overhead. This results in a presentation that not only captivates with its breadth and depth—thanks to exceptional use of the height channels in sequences like the downtown L.A. rescue—but also maintains crystal clear dialogue and a pulsating score amidst the tumultuous sonic environment. The added dimensions of sound provided by overhead channels afford moments of serenity amidst chaos, where quieter, subtle sounds gain prominence, offering a reprieve from the relentless auditory assault.

    The technical prowess of this release is evident in its ability to navigate the challenges posed by such a dynamic range. From heart-stopping bass in the .LFE channels to meticulous sound panning that pulls the audience into the eye of the storm, the audio mix on this disc is nothing short of spectacular. Whether it's the precise imaging of debris scattering across the soundscape or the palpable tension evoked by the score, each element serves to enhance the immersive experience. Notably, quieter moments afford overhead sounds their moment to shine, lending an authenticity to scenarios like oil leaking from a crashed helicopter—sounds so vivid, listeners may momentarily worry about their own ceilings.

    Accommodating various home theater configurations, this release includes both Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixes, catering to systems with or without overhead speakers. Subtitles are thoughtfully provided in multiple languages, ensuring accessibility for a wide audience. While the soundtrack pushes speakers to their limits, it remarkably avoids crossing into distortion, maintaining balanced loudness and clarity that respects the integrity of the original sound design. This relentless but controlled audio spectacle exemplifies how well-crafted sound can elevate action cinema, making 'San Andreas' on 4K UHD an auditory thrill ride that demands to be experienced.

    Extra: 75

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray of "San Andreas" itself does not include any additional content, a point that might disappoint enthusiasts looking for an all-encompassing 4K experience. However, the package compensates by including a standard 1080p Blu-ray disc loaded with several extras. Among these are a director’s audio commentary, providing deeper insights into the film's creation, and several featurettes that explore different facets of the movie, such as the real-life science behind the film’s premise, Dwayne Johnson's action-packed role, and the process of scoring for an earthquake film. Also included are deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a stunt reel, offering a peek behind the curtain of this disaster epic's production. This set also comes with a Blu-ray copy and a digital HD copy for versatile viewing options, but the highlight for fans will likely be the rich supplemental content found on the included Blu-ray disc.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • San Andreas in 4K Ultra HD: Main feature with no supplements.
    • Director Audio Commentary: Insights from the director.
    • San Andreas: The Real Fault Line: A featurette exploring the scientific backbone of the movie.
    • Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue: A look at Dwayne Johnson's role and stunts.
    • Scoring the Quake: Insight into the movie's musical score.
    • Deleted Scenes: Additional scenes not included in the final cut.
    • Gag Reel: Light-hearted outtakes from filming.
    • Stunt Reel: Compilation of stunt work.
    • Blu-ray Copy & Digital HD Copy: Additional viewing formats.

    Movie: 80

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "San Andreas" harnesses the immense power of upgraded visual and audio fidelity set against the backdrop of a catastrophic earthquake tearing through California. As Warner Brothers embarks on their journey into the Ultra HD realm, this release underlines the technical advancements in home cinema viewing. The movie's depiction of raw destruction and chaos, centered around Dwayne Johnson's character, Ray, a helicopter search and rescue pilot navigating the disaster to save his family, is elevated through unparalleled clarity and detail that comes with a 4K/3840x2160p resolution. Coupled with HDR10/Rec.2020 compliance, viewers can expect a stark enhancement in dynamic range and color spectrum, pushing the boundaries of immersive viewing experiences, although it must be noted that the review is based on projections as calibrated displays evolve.

    While "San Andreas" thrives as an action-packed blockbuster, its transition to 4K UHD Blu-ray showcases the pivotal leap in visual effects, making every crumbling building and perilous escape attempt more gripping. The catastrophic allure of the earthquake's devastation is delivered with a precision that only top-notch CGI can offer, complemented by the high-resolution format that captures every minute detail, from the unsettling vibrations of a looming quake to the heart-stopping destruction of iconic landmarks. This makes for a visceral experience that is both harrowing and captivating, with performances by Johnson, Carla Gugino, and Alexandra Daddario further augmenting the emotional heft of their perilous journey.

    Technical prowess apart, "San Andreas" in 4K UHD doesn't shy away from indulging in its genre clichés, delivering a hefty dose of action-packed sequences intertwined with a storyline focused on familial bonds put to the test amidst nature's wrath. The additional clarity and depth of 4K brings an unparalleled realism to the spectacle, enhancing both the film's intense dramatic moments and its more lighthearted beats. The meticulous care in upgrading the audiovisual presentation elevates "San Andreas" beyond its narrative, making it a testament to the capabilities of modern home entertainment technology and a highly recommended addition for aficionados of disaster epics seeking to fully leverage their 4K setups.

    Total: 76

    "San Andreas," the epitome of modern disaster cinema, benefits greatly from the advancements in home theater technology, particularly with its 4K UHD Blu-ray release by Warner. While the visual upgrade from its Blu-ray predecessor to the 4K UHD edition might leave some wanting, offering only a marginal enhancement in detail and color contrast, the technical aspects of this release cannot be overlooked. The film itself remains sharp and vibrant, albeit not making the significant leap in visual quality many have come to expect from the UHD format. It's a fine line between a true upgrade and a mere sidestep from its Blu-ray companion, but it still manages to provide viewers with a pleasing visual experience that complements its over-the-top narrative well.

    Where "San Andreas" shines unmistakably is in its audio presentation. The 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD sound mix is nothing short of spectacular, setting a benchmark for lossless audio quality. This reference-quality soundtrack engulfs the viewer in an immersive auditory experience, characterized by its crystal-clear sound, ample surround activity, and robust low-frequency effects that lend gravity to the film's cataclysmic spectacle. The dynamic balance across the soundstage, coupled with precise dialogue delivery and atmospheric sounds, enhances the overall viewing experience, placing the audience at the heart of the destruction.

    In conclusion, while "San Andreas" on 4K UHD may not significantly outperform its Blu-ray version in terms of visual fidelity, it does represent a commendable effort that mildly improves upon the original. The true star of the show is the film’s audio presentation, offering an enveloping and high-quality experience that audiophiles will appreciate. Those looking for a reference title in terms of UHD picture quality might be slightly disappointed, but for fans of the genre and admirers of superior sound design, this release still holds considerable merit.